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Everything posted by mark549

  1. Tatsu has the best view at SFMM, certainly the most intense view from a lift hill.
  2. If Rocky Mountain converts this into Iron Streak it would likely have a huge line ...
  3. I'm waiting for a time when Hades will be running mellow. Closest I've been to riding Hades was taking Amtrak through the Dells, you can see coasters from the train (and a "Torture Museum" next to the train station). Photo taken from the train at the Wisconsin Dells station. I wonder if the Wedding Chapel and the Torture Museum (see photo) are owned by the same business? Goliath Number Seven (next year) seems far more worthy of a visit than Hades 360.
  4. Giant Tree, Humboldt Redwoods State Park A suggestion for Big Tree Photography: since ancient trees are beyond the scale that we experience with the young trees surrounding us, having a human or even some object in the foreground helps with a sense of scale. The only "theming" I like at SFMM is the foam Sequoia tree, which is peeling from years of sun exposure and no maintenance. I wonder how many customers realize that actual Sequoia trees (Giganteum) can grow that large? The best coasters in the Northwest are at Silverwood. I hope Rocky Mountain makes something for them soon (in addition to Topper Track) since they are almost next door. I haven't been on Coaster in Vancouver, yet. Mark in Oregon
  5. I didn't "trust" them, that's why I posted here! I'm happy to be wrong.
  6. Anyone see it testing today? Or even better yet with riders? Was trying to go tomorrow, this would be a nice surprise. El Toro has reopened. Just in time for Riding of the Bull Cinco next Saturday. This will be the first one I miss. I've been at all 4! I'm heading to LA for WCB instead. The park's website says it's still closed. I called the park and the guy who answers the phone says it's still closed with no time set for reopening, although if it just reopened it wouldn't surprise if it takes a few hours for the news to make it back to the guest relations office.
  7. In a way, they already have a RMC coaster - Rocky Mountain did construction work (although not design) on El Toro.
  8. Wow. The first drop looks like a wood version of Skyrush. Dive Loops are one of my favorite elements. And the upside down element just after the dive loop looks surreal - inverted airtime! My only complaint is the queue to get on this thing is going to be extremely long. I've only been to SFGam twice, both on school days, and the lines were ridiculous. The second time I had a flash pass which made re-rides possible. Looks like RMC is systematically going around the Six Flags chain and fixing their coasters, perhaps the Roars will be on their list of fixes. At least Colossus is rideable although not that exciting.
  9. The Traver Cyclones would probably be the most intense, but the most rideable would probably be the Rye Airplane and Riverview Bobs. Terminator/Apocalypse at SFMM stars off a bit like the Airplane, but the rest of T/A isn't at all like that. My favorite extinct rides I've been on are Texas Cyclone and Hercules (in its early days).
  10. I've probably posted this before ... I rode Voyage in May 2011 on a rainy day (off and on) and it was great, my favorite wooden coaster. (I haven't been on El Toro, yet.) Early in the season on a cool day probably made for a good day on it. There was a pothole on the track at the bottom of the first drop, where the ride is fastest. I've been on a few other wood coasters where the biggest bump was the bottom of the first drop, especially Timber Terror at Silverwood. I haven't been on Voyage at the end of a season on a hot dry day. As for Riverside Cyclone and Texas Cyclone, those were great rides in their early days. Only went on them in their early days, I haven't been on "Riverside" Cyclone since it became Six Flags and then reprofiled. I've not heard anything good about Riverside Cyclone in recent years. I love the idea of Topper Track for Voyage and hope that happens.
  11. Mini Mine Train, SFOG. It was scary enough (for my first ride as a small kid) that I didn't go on the "big" mine train (which is still there). First "big" Arrow was Loch Ness Monster in its opening year.
  12. My guess is you were dealing with yellow jackets more than bees. Yellow jackets don't make honey or pollinate and are more aggressive than bees. They love sugary stuff like half drunk sodas put in recycling cans or trash cans, and in mid / late summer reach their most aggressive state. If the drink containers were reusable and washable and washed in dishwashers instead of thrown out in the cans this problem could be almost entirely prevented. I hope iRat's down time ends soon, I have plans to visit this fall and if the ride won't open by then I'll reschedule for a time when it will be fixed. There's probably not much more to investigate, the only question is what changes, if any, will be made to the lap bars and whether seat belts will be added. My guess is yes on both, similar to the Intamin Supermen.
  13. "If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed." -- Mark Twain
  14. Complete speculation: there's a B&M looping coaster in South Carolina that might fit in the space they have ... my guess is they could buy it cheaply, if it's for sale.
  15. I think almost every coaster is better at night. The only exception to this I can think of is Wild Eagle at Dollywood. The view of the mountains is a core part of the ride, missed at night. Also, they have multiple strobe lights to take pictures (at different points along the track), one is more than enough.
  16. Kong (SF Discovery Kingdom). Ninja (SF Georgia). (dis)honorable mention: worst B&M: Vortex (CGA)
  17. Silverwood claims that their model "Aftershock" has had very little down time. I don't know why they have had a better experience than Six Flags. I heard this from a maintenance person there. It's a great ride.
  18. I wonder if the record heat in Las Vegas was a factor -- it's easy for heat to disorient someone, even someone who was expert at the safety equipment. Being outside in that sort of temperature is likely to have deleterious effects later in the day, even if the auditorium was cooled with lots of air conditioning. One of the articles I read about the heat wave said there was some sort of outdoor concert going on in Las Vegas that resulted in a lot of people getting sick from the heat.
  19. The POV is also on the BBC, although a truncated version. No mention of the name of the park. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-23041234 'Fastest' rollercoaster opens in Los Angeles 25 June 2013 Last updated at 01:24 ET Help A new ride which claims to be the tallest and fastest looping rollercoaster in the world has opened in Los Angeles in the US. The Full Throttle brings the number of rollercoasters at the theme park in Valencia, California, to 18.
  20. If they do this I hope they have an "opt out" option. I trust SF's mechanics but I don't trust their data security to safeguard my fingerprints, retina scan, urine test, etc. I have never had a problem with my SF season pass, biometric surveillance technology is not needed. The photo is sufficient security to keep the pass from being overused. There are a lot of other things they could spend money on to improve their parks instead of this such as a roof over the station of their new coaster.
  21. http://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/its-now-safe-to-ride-the-medusa/Content?oid=3577205 It's Now Safe to Ride the Medusa Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo ends its lockout of park mechanics — but still faces labor violations charges. By Shane Bond For a time this spring, it looked as if Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo might be a good place for families to avoid. Management had locked out mechanics in a labor dispute, raising questions about safety on the amusement park's thrill rides, particularly as the busy summer season was about to begin. But late last week, the Texas-based theme park chain agreed to end the lockout — though not before union leaders alleged that the company had committed multiple labor violations. The labor dispute at Six Flags started last year when ride mechanics unionized under the International Association of Machinist and Aerospace Workers. Negotiations with management then broke down this spring over disagreements about safety, training, and wages. Even though the Vallejo amusement park features some of the largest and fastest thrill rides in the country, including the 65-mph Medusa loop-to-loop roller coaster, it traditionally has paid the people who make sure those rides remain in good working order a relatively low wage — lower, in fact, than the prevailing wage of $18 to $19 an hour paid to mechanics at other amusement parks. Yet after more than a dozen negotiating sessions with union officials, company management steadfastly refused to pay that higher wage and issued what it deemed to be its "final" offer: $17.50 an hour. "They told us, 'You vote now or we lock you out,'" said union spokesman Garry Horrocks. The mechanics, however, rejected the proposal, so management locked them out and brought in replacement workers from its other theme parks. Six Flags Entertainment Corporation is the nation's largest amusement park operator in terms of facilities, and fifth largest in attendance, with about 25 million customers annually. The locked-out mechanics then set up picket lines and warned customers about potential safety issues. "We have seen an increase in ride breakdowns," Horrocks said during the lockout. He said that mechanics brought in from other amusement parks did not have the same level of knowledge about the numerous rides at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom as the mechanics who were locked out. "It's like taking someone who works on Fords and then giving them a Chevy; it's not going to be the same," he said. But Six Flags spokeswoman Nancy Chan denied that safety was ever at risk. "The union is using scare tactics," she said during the lockout. "We have not and will never compromise the safety of our guests and employees. All of our rides are being inspected and maintained by highly trained and certified individuals with years of experience." However, after the mechanics' safety warnings aired on several Bay Area TV news broadcasts, Six Flags management decided to improve its final offer. According to union negotiator Tom Brandon, Six Flags agreed to multiple changes to its proposal, including better training for mechanics and a guarantee to reinstate health care to union employees who were cut off from coverage during the lockout. The changes were enough for union mechanics to agree to the deal despite the fact that Six Flags refused to increase its wage proposal. ....
  22. Two more random observations: I went through the dinosaur exhibit. One of the subtle things with it is they've done a nice job planting native plants (native to Virginia) along the path. There's enough there that it looks like the landscapers did some botanical restoration when the exhibit was installed. It's the part of the park that is the most natural and they could have something posted about native ecology. (In contrast, a new clearcut on the other side of the highway is visible from the Eiffel Tower). Black asphalt is not a good surface on a hot day. I hope that KD / Cedar Fair will replace more asphalt with pavers or at least paint it a color that is not the maximum for collecting solar energy. Parts of the park have nice shade and part need more trees and awnings.
  23. It is ironic (and sad) given that SF America is immediately next to Belt Woods, a very special ecological preserve that includes some old growth forest (which was saved from becoming ugly tract homes). Apocalypse seemed even rougher than it did as Iron Wolf. The only re-ridable coaster there is Superman, not the best Intamin but a pretty good one. I rode Giant Coaster near Boston as a teenager and remember it being better than Wild One is now. You can see how the turnaround for Wild One has been tamed (some original bents are under the current track).
  24. Intamin is definitely more thrilling, but B&M has some worthy elements that Intamin does not do -- dive coaster drops, zero g rolls (Medusa, etc) -- and some of the B&Ms are intense.
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